We just got back from a wonderful family trip to Florida and being in the sunshine state made me think of one of my favorite collaborative styled shoots yet! Let me back up a little and tell you how this whole ball of sunshine came to be. My super talented friend, Nakia Miller of A Hand Crafted Affair, found me through Instagram. Nakia was looking for florals for her company holiday party and just so happened to work for a super-cool advertising agency in a super-cool industrial space in downtown Indianapolis. She came across some of my work that I did for The Hatch (see that piece here) through their Instagram and reached out based on how much greenery I used. Soulmates already. This was the start of a fun friendship.
You can see one of the pieces I did for BaM's holiday party here.
We both had such a good experience with each other that we knew we wanted this synergy to keep going. Fast forward a few lunch discussions later, we decided on a Mother's Day themed styled shoot with the beloved "You are my sunshine" as our muse. I wanted to move out of the wedding scene and we both wanted to do something fresh and different so voila! This was such an EASY experience becaue we both brought so many ideas to the table and just really loved everything that the other suggested.
Once we established our vision we brought on another talented friend of mine, photographer Stacy Able. This was my second styled shoot with Stacy and I knew her laidback demeanor was just what we needed. Not only did she photograph the shoot for us, but she also brought some props - the best one being her celebrity status pup, Cinna. I knew I wanted to use the oversized balloon in a few shots and while we were brainstorming it hit me - Cinna would be so cute in an image! Brainstorming is my favorite part of a styled shoot. It's like you are in this mental state where creatively, anything is possible.
Next we brought on Chef Sarah Showalter, an Indy local who currently works as a private chef. Sarah made the gorgeous (and delish!) grub while Nakia's assistant, Tori Sandler, made the sweet drink stirs and provided so much help on set that I just don't even know what we would of done without her! When it came time to find talent - the first person to pop into my mind was my friend Lindsay. Besides having a cool name, Lindsay is the kind of friend that always brightens your day. She is a life coach and and inspires others to find their light - perfect. Lindsay just happens to have two pretty cute minis, Harper and Charlie, and brought along her friend Melanie and her two cuties! The kids were so sweet, the ladies so fun, and our team...so happy! It was an awesome day. The real cherry on top was when 100 Layer Cakelet picked up our shoot and published it on their blog and Instagram. I worked with all of these big these blogs at my last job, but being the person featured was a change for me - the best kind! You can see their feature of our work here.
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Without further ado....
One thing I want to do in this space is inspire others and in a way that is attainable. You don't have to have custom or expensive details to make your event look and feel the way you want. You just have to be strategic. Mixing high-end buys with bargain steals in a cohesive way is the true definition of talent, to me. Seek out flea markets, estate sales, and local stores. Tuesday Morning is one of my absolute favorite places to shop for props. I scored these swoon- worthy napkins at Homegoods for a whopping $7.99.The fun tassels are all the rage right now and give the sleek sophisticated grey a playful modern touch. When paired with this vintage inspired serving set and brushed gold West Elm flatware, it becomes the perfect trifecta of style.
When it comes to food ( and libations ) it is all about presentation. I don't care how good it tastes - if it doesn't look appealing you can forget it. Sarah created this gorgeous brunch-a-licious menu while Nakia styled the grub and I supplied the floral touches. We knew this flowery mom-osa bar was sure to please our adult models!
The first thing that really inspired this shoot was Nakia's desire to do a wall installation. She is so talented and thinks of things I never would! She made the "You are my sunshine" wall hanging by bending wire in the custom font you see. She then cut and wrapped a million pieces of fabric to create the piece you see below. I MEAN. She is crazy talented, y'all. I attached 3 different types of greenery around the signage to make it feel playful and whimsical. I am still so in love with this concept.
I knew I wanted to add fun elements like the oversized balloon. This one you can get at Party City in multiple colors ( pro tip - make sure to get high-float - it costs a few dollars extra, but it will last for days), but my favorite are from a company I worked with a lot in NYC - Knot and Bow.
Being a Mother's Day theme, we knew we wanted to incorporate a special take away for the Moms. The individual mini bouquets on each place setting felt like a nod to the days of childhood when you came home so proud of the weeds ( wild flowers!) you picked for your Mama. I paired the bright blooms with a modern black and white print tissue paper I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I then tied each bouquet with hand-cut pieces of hand-dyed leather I bought from a craftsman in the garment district in NYC. I bought 10 different spools from him years ago and have saved them for special moments. It is one of the little details that made these images really special.
Under the personal bouquets, we placed these thumb print tea towels that the kids made as their activity. This was Nakia's idea and it turned out sooo cute! Just make sure to use non-toxic paint and have the kids prints overlap with their Mom's.
My favorite part of this shoot, besides the company, was the table scape. Nakia brought her mid-century dining room table and we used these AMAZING yellow chairs from The Hatch. A simple gauze runner, gold flatware and bright spring colored blooms made this clean casual look that I can't get enough of. I used moss at the base of my floral design for the centerpiece to make it feel fresh out of the ground. The colors and texture made this early May day the perfect collaboration of love, light, and creativity. We hope you love it as much as we do! Special thanks to my workspace, The Hatch, for letting us get all kinds of creative in the studio and my collaborative partners Nakia, Stacy, Sarah, and Tori for making this shoot such a fun one to be a part of.